Health Policy Students Aid Senator for Markup Before Senate Committee on Finance

For student Ebony Allen, "Healthcare on the Hill" is not just the name of a class at the School of Public Health and Health Services -- it was also her daily reality last semester. During the fall 2013 semester, Ebony Allen, master of public health in health policy candidate, and health policy student Marisa Workman worked as health policy legislative aides for Adjunct Professor Rodney Whitlock in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley (IA). In addition to teaching courses such as "Healthcare on the Hill" for the department of health policy, Whitlock is currently the Health Policy Director for Senator Grassley.

One of the most memorable experiences for Allen and Workman occurred on Thursday, December 12, 2013, when their health policy team helped Senator Grassley present approximately twenty amendments they had prepared for the open markup of the Senate Committee on Finance, a meeting to consider amendments to a measure and determine whether the measure will be recommended to the full Senate and whether it needs to be amended in a substantive way. Senator Grassley praised the quality work Allen and Workman contributed to the team, stating,

“When the Finance Committee took up the single biggest payment change in Medicare payment policy in decades, having Ebony and Marisa on our team allowed us to better represent all the interest we heard from Iowa.  I am fortunate to have had them here in my office.” 

-Senator Chuck Grassley, Iowa

The students were also appreciative of the opportunity to gain real-world experience on the Hill. "Professor Whitlock helped to create one of my most memorable work experiences," Allen said. "I was able to apply tangible skills that I learned from his "Healthcare on the Hill" course and a federal policymaking and advocacy course with Professor Katie Horton and Professor Naomi Seiler. I encourage my peers and potential SPHHS students to seek opportunities that will not only provide them work experience, but will enhance their academic experience as well."
                                       Students Ebony Allen and Marisa Workman pictured to the right, respectively, behind Sen. Grassley